Weather and natural disasters

In addition to humanitarian needs stemming from conflict-related policies, people in the occupied Palestinian territory face difficult weather conditions and emergencies, and may also suffer from natural disasters. In this territory, such contingencies may include storms, floods, frosts, droughts, desertification and earthquakes, among others.

For additional information, please access our Winter Storm Portal, which supports response agencies to report needs and provide prompt response.

Articles, statements and press releases

4 March 2019 |
Ibtisam preparing coffee in her new kitchen

An oPt Humanitarian Fund Success Story: Ibtisam is a 46-year-old mother of two from Deir al Balah in the Gaza Strip. Until recently, she was struggling to care for her family, including her husband who lives with a disability, and to manage the family’s home, which needed repair and rehabilitation

23 January 2019 |
Rehabilitation works at the Khatib family home in Hebron. Photo: GVC

An oPt Humanitarian Fund success story: Israel exercises direct control over the 20 per cent of Hebron City, known as H2, which is home to approximately 40,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers living in five settlement compounds. Policies and practices implemented by the Israeli authorities, citing security concerns, have resulted in the forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron city, reducing a once thriving area to a ‘ghost town’. The living conditions of those Palestinians who remain in the closed and restricted areas have been gradually undermined, including with regard to basic services and sources of livelihood.

20 December 2017 |
Seismic hazard map for building codes

The occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is vulnerable to manmade and natural disasters. The most recent overall assessment of risks in the oPt identified the following main risks: natural hazards, including earthquakes, floods, droughts and landslides; and manmade hazards, including conflict escalation, severe stress on natural resources, environmental degradation, and rapid and unregulated urbanization.

15 December 2017 |
Children on their way back from school, during floods in Gaza city, January 2015. © Photo by Wissam Nassar

In the Gaza Strip, another winter season brings with it the threat of temporary displacement, property losses and health risks due to flooding and poor housing conditions. Insufficient funding, import restrictions, the ongoing energy crisis and the limited capacity of the Palestinian Civil Defense (PCD) are key factors that hinder the ability of the relevant actors to reduce vulnerability and respond effectively.

10 February 2017 |
Eight winter-related projects of the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan are underway following the allocation of around $3 million by the oPt Humanitarian Fund (HF) in late November 2016. More than two thirds of the projects are run by national NGOs either directly or in partnership with UN agencies/ international NGOs. The projects target more than 181,000 Palestinians who are at risk of displacement and/or face safety hazards due to winter weather conditions, particularly flooding and storms. Six projects are in the Gaza Strip and two in the West Bank.
13 December 2016 |
Family evacuating their home in Gaza, 12 December 2013

As the rainy season approaches, thousands of families in the Gaza Strip will once again be at risk of temporary displacement and the destruction of assets due to flooding. The winter weather conditions are expected to exacerbate the already fragile living conditions and livelihoods of large segments of the Palestinian population. The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster and its partners have identified flood risk areas throughout the Gaza Strip, potentially affecting nearly 500,000 people, as well as 64 schools and 10 health centres.